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Hey Jude, Part 2

“Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum: These are the words of the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword: I know that you are living right where Satan’s throne is. You are holding on to my name, and you didn’t break faith with me even at the time that Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who follow Balaam’s teaching. Balaam had taught Balak to trip up the Israelites so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. In the same way, you have some who follow the Nicolaitans’ teaching.
Revelation 2:12‭-‬15 CEB
https://bible.com/bible/37/rev.2.12-15.CEB

Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago. I want to remind you of something you already know very well. The Lord, who once saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who didn’t maintain their faith. They are damned, for they follow in the footsteps of Cain. For profit they give themselves over to Balaam’s error. They are destroyed in the uprising of Korah. These people are like jagged rocks just below the surface of the water waiting to snag you when they join your love feasts. They feast with you without reverence. They care only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; fruitless autumn trees, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom the darkness of the underworld is reserved forever.
Jude 1:4‭-‬5‭, ‬11‭-‬13 CEB
https://bible.com/bible/37/jud.1.4-13.CEB

So what is going on here in these passages that are warnings for us today? When you look into the meanings behind these verses there are many layers. What I want to highlight is that even when we are in the midst of evil, even those that worship Satan and his kingdom, we must hold fast to the profession of our faith. Clearly, those that were compromising the message of the pure gospel and who had intentions to disrupt and distort the message of Christ, had crept into the church. This is not metaphorical. This is the reality that we are living today.

We have gotten into such a casual mentality that we forget that God is the King of Kings. We’ve taken his grace as a license to act a fool and disgrace ourselves and do things that make Him turn His face away in sorrow because He cannot look upon sin.

Grace and salvation cost our Dear Father the ultimate, the sacrifice of His dear son Jesus Christ. Do you remember when Jesus was hanging on the cross and He asked the Father why He had forsaken Him because the Father had to turn away while Jesus was enshrouded in your sin and mine?

Listen, I have seen people play church and done it myself. We don’t have any more time to mess around in greasy grace. Satan is doing a wonderful job, I hate to say, by lulling Christians to sleep, even having preachers and others either completely denounce the gospel or say things that are so absurd such as there is no real Heaven and no real Hell. These folks are going to find out the hard way if their hearts don’t turn back to their Creator.

Do you notice how so many churches don’t give altar calls anymore or explain that there has to be repentance from your sin because you are in fact a sinner when you come to Christ? (Hey even my phone right now was trying to use every word except the word sinner.) Do you notice how many of the churches have removed the physical altars? Do you notice how our programs divide the family instead of unifying it because we send everybody off into separate rooms by age groups as the rule rather than the special occasion or exception?

Do you notice that we are trying to be so friendly to the world that we are not distinct and set apart? We are called by evening so-called Christian leaders to compromise. I’ve been told over and over again in my life to pipe down….When I have shared part of the vision God has called me to, I had someone try to change it and tell me what they thought God was probably saying instead (I suppose in their paradigm, women are not able to preach). I know preachers who are mincing words and afraid to just boldly tell folks that you need to get saved before you can join in the ministry teams because they’re trying to woo and coo. Stop it! I love my pastor friends so much that I will speak the truth to them.

We have all fallen short the glory of God. We are all sinners who need to be saved and don’t forget this part please, transformed into the image of Christ. He is not going to join our program. He says that He’s giving us the choice of life or death. We have the opportunity to move toward Him. He is not going to move toward our lives of compromise.

I agree with Bobby Conner that we shouldn’t apologize for nearly saying something. And I like what he told a preacher that told him to not come on too strong because they might scare away those that aren’t saved. He asked where they were going to scare them to, Hell 1 or Hell 2. They’re lost, he said. There’s Heaven and there’s Hell. That’s it and time is short.

The Bible says to come out from among them and be separate. If I have the same torn up, foul mouth as the world, why would they want the Jesus that I say I’ve got? (Been there, so I know.) When I’m thirsty, I want water or in other words the solution to my problem. A lot of those in the pulpit will be held accountable for trying to put the pseudo-spiritual equivalent of a bandage on Vesuvius.

Let us pray that we are found awake, alert and with oil in our lamps. Let us keep watch and speak the truth in love. And women especially, may I encourage you that speaking the truth in love does not mean to be devoid of boldness or authority. Know who you are in God Almighty, Your Father Who created you in His image to be conformed into the likeness of his son Jesus Christ.

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What’s in Your Mouth? Part 2

We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be! Would you look for olives hanging on a fig tree or go to pick figs from a grapevine? Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water.
James (Jacob) 3:9‭-‬12 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/jas.3.9-12.TPT

We are spoken to so much in the book of James about the need to tame our tongues. We’re also told in the scripture that it’s evident what’s in our heart by what comes out of our mouth, to paraphrase. Furthermore, we are told to guard our hearts above all because out of it flow the issues of life. Circling back to our mouths, we are told that the power of life and death is in the tongue.

I just want to briefly say that I have learned that firsthand, specifically in relation to a situation referred to in the post entitled, Observe the Mouse. God spoke to me to change what I was saying, much of which was very factual to any objective observer who could review available evidence. But I started going with the scripture that talks about calling those things that are not as though they are. That doesn’t mean to just confess things like the kind of job you want or that you’re out of debt, although those things can be fine depending on the condition of one’s heart. But you can use that premise to speak life in the midst of death. Once I started speaking life into the situation, forgiving and loving my perpetrator and confessing on a regular basis that all of my enemies have to bless me and that I bless them and do not curse them, I saw dramatic change that I did not know how it would be possible or if I would ever see such change.

I challenge you to speak life and to do as the word says, to pray for your enemies, those that persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for the Lord’s namesake and to bless and not curse. Choose life and you’ll reap unfathomable blessings today!

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Vision Obscured

He saw her the way God does. She saw him the way God does. Hopes, dreams, aspirations…

But, he never saw himself the way God does. And she never saw herself the way God does. So, there were years of pain and heartache, wanting to walk out from behind the walls but feeling paralyzed.

Without God goggles, they would never get it together.

But, one day, they cried out in desperation for new eyes, new visions, to replace the distortions of self that caused the pushing away of the most precious gift.

The walls disappeared and love reigned supreme. Healed hearts, united at last.

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Restoration

As I compose this, the thunder rolls outside my window reminding me of the eternal battle between good and evil that affects our daily lives.

So much damage can be done when we give into selfishness or are the recipients of someone else doing just that. The Lord brought to my mind the concept of restoration which has been the theme of quite a few sermons I have heard over the last year or so and so came the concept of selfishness as well as the concepts of selflessness and healing.

I’ve come to realize that restoration does not mean that God will put us back in relationships that we dread with people who are still not healed. Part of what it means, is that he will restore us to the point that the cracks in our hearts are removed. He can make everything new as though it was never broken or scarred.

I had a very good conversation with a very dear person recently. It is a relationship that has undergone some restoration for which I have prayed in various ways over time. It can be so tempting to pray a particular result with respect to how we relate with another individual or group of individuals. However, when we begin praying that God changes us and that God heal the other party or parties involved without dogmatic agenda as to the end result of the relationship here on Earth, God can do so much more than we can ask or imagine even in our wildest dreams.

In the conversation I had, I saw skepticism replaced with faith and a warm heart shown willingly after it had been hidden so deeply for many reasons for many years.

I believe this is a season of restoration where what is broken in you can be healed and made as though it never happened.

God is waiting to hear you cry out to Him.

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The Original Bully – The Sequel

As I was composing the previous post, the cat featured as the attacker in that photo who weighs about 9 pounds was repeatedly chasing and attacking the just over 16 pound cat and harassing him until he was crying out.

I called out to him, without response. He remained engaged with the attacker as opposed to escaping and coming for help. How often do we have such a warped response? We cozy up and think we can make some sort of peace treaty with the devil. Then, true to his fallen nature, he attacks us relentlessly until we cry out in pain and anguish. Do we remember to cry out to Christ? Do we run to him for safety or continue in the antics in the busyness that stop us from knowing who we truly are or at least are created to be?

The Bible clearly says that if we have God in us, then we have the one who is greater than satan who is in this world. The scripture also says that we are in the world but not of it. Are we rising above the trickery and deceit or are we content in the mire?

ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you–rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! [Zech. 8:23.]
Isaiah 60:1 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/isa.60.1.AMPC

God has made a way of escape through the Salvation and Solace of His Son Jesus Christ. Accept him today by confessing that you are a sinner, asking for forgiveness and that He would save you and become the Lord of your life. If you already know Him, remember your true identity and stop giving up ground to the evil one. You and I are loved beyond what we can possibly comprehend while in our mortal bodies.

Be blessed today!